Influential Characters



History of the War

Timeline of Major Events

The Main Battles

Outcome of the War

The Opposing Viewpoints

Note Page

Images Sources



President James K. Polk

James Knox Polk was the president of United States during the Mexican American War. During this time, Polk faced daunting issues in the arena of foreign affairs. A boundary dispute with Great Britain over Oregon territory and Mexican protest over Texas threatened to destabilize the nation on two fronts. As Mexican officials refused Polk aggressive tactics, Polk ordered the U.S Army to head to Mexico border in a show of force. The Mexican American War began to erupt in May of 1846. And two years later, Polk succeeded in winning the war and adding a vast amount of land to the United States. Shortly thereafter, he left office due to illness and was succeeded in presidency by Zachary Taylor.(17)


Santa Anna

Born in 1794, Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna made involvement in the military and politics surrounding Mexico his focus from an early age, and continued with this focus for most of his life.  He went in and out of presidency in Mexico many times- from declaring himself president to being in exile.(18)  His leading of troops and then sudden capture and signing of a treaty in the Texas Revolution, as well as his return to presidency during the Mexican American war were two of his more significant roles in leadership. After losing again to the U.S. in the Mexican American War, Santa Anna was exiled again, though he returned some time later to take the presidency in Mexico for the 11th and final time, and later died in Mexico in 1876.(19)


General Zachary Taylor

Born a southern man in 1784, Taylor had reached his 60’s when the tensions with Mexico began to rise in the 1840s and he was sent by President Polk to the borderlands of Texas and Mexico.  His mission there was to guard the land there that was being claimed by both countries, and in 1846, when the first Mexican rifle was shot, he and his troops engaged in war against Mexico. As General, he led his troops in many battles, all land battles fought from the Rio Grande toward Mexico City.  He was called "Old Rough and Ready" by his men, and though he played a vital role in the U.S. military, he was one of the least military in appearance, preferring to wear a straw hat and linen duster with his uniform. "More than one soldier commented he looked more like an old farmer than a general."(20) His largest victories were his capture of Monterey, and important Mexican City, and the Battle of Buena Vista, where his troops were quite outnumbered but still victorious.  The Mexican American War ended in 1848, and in 1849 his popular role in the war earned him the favor of the American people and he was elected president of the United States.  However, he died shortly after assuming office, in 1850.(21)



General Winfield Scott

Winfield Scott (June 13, 1786 – May 29, 1866) was a United States Army general, diplomat, and presidential candidate. Scott has served in the Army as a longest serving general and is rated as the most able American commander of his time by historians.  Through out his fifty-year career, he commanded forces in the War of 1812, the Mexican-American War, the Black Hawk War, the Second Seminole War, and, briefly, the American Civil War. his role as General in the Mexican-American War was noteworthy, and it was he and his army, called the "Army of Invasion" that landed on Mexico's coast and made their way into Mexico City. In contrast to General Taylor, Winfield Scott was nicknamed "Old Fuss and Feathers" for his impeccable military appearance and by-the-book approach. It was "Old Fuss and Feathers" whose army took hold of the Mexican Capitol to end the war on September 14, 1847, and afterward he served as military governor of Mexico City.(22)


General William Worth

Worth, William Jenkins, is a military officer; born in Hudson New York, March 1, 1794.  Worth started out as a clerk in a store at Hudson, he then entered the military service as lieutenant of infantry in May, 1813.  In March 1842, Worth was brevetted a brigadier-general, and commanded a brigade under General Taylor in Mexico in 1846.  he played a significant role in the capture of Monterey. He also commanded a division, under General Scott in 1847 to 1848, in the capture of Vera Cruz, and in the battles from Cerro Gordo to the assault and capture of the city of Mexico.(23)

General David Twiggs

David Emanuel Twiggs (1790 – July 15, 1862) served in the Army as a General in the Mexican-American War.  He led brigade in the Army during the battles of Palo Alto and Resaca de la Palma. He also commanded a division at the Battle of Monterrey. Later, Twiggs joined Winfield Scott's expedition, and commanded a division of army in all the battles from Veracruz through Mexico City.  After the successful capture of Mexico City he was appointed military governor of Veracruz.  When the Mexican War ended, Twiggs became the major general and commanded the Department of Texas.(24)